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The Secret River

by Kate Grenville

This book puts you right there, and makes you think - what would I have done in the same situation? Following the lives of an early settler family in Australia, William Thornhill is keen to claim a patch of ground and start building a new life for himself and his family. But the uneasy relationship with the aborigine natives means nothing can be settled until drastic action is taken. A novel which examines attitudes from an historical age, but with intensity and vividness that makes them real for the reader today.

Extract

The blacks come and give you a fright, is that it? Blackwood said at last. Thornhill had the feeling that he was amused. Blackwood thought for a moment, then said abruptly, Best you and me have a drink of tea then.

They sat together with their pannikins of tea on a bench outside the hut. Blackwood had picked a sweet spot, with the grass spreading under the trees, the lagoon glinting in the sun at a distance, and the birds carolling near the corn patch. He had made himself comfortable.

Parallels

True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
  • The Cherry Pickers - the play
  • Rabbit-proof Fence - the film
     

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